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The GET LAMP Interview Archives

From 2006-2008, director Jason Scott interviewed over 70 programmers, writers, academics and designers about text adventures and interactive fiction, that genre of computer game which dominated the early days of home computer and which has faded into a much smaller portion of the game world. Even though it is no longer at the forefront of gaming, the influence and breadth of the subject inspired Jason to track down as many of the original designers of these games as he could, as well as interviewing a whole range of more "modern" creators/academics. After a year of editing, the resulting work, GET LAMP, contains hours of stories and thoughts on text adventures including a smaller feature of Infocom, the leading text adventure company of the 1980s, and meditations on writing, caving, coding and the meaning of creation. In a package made available with an included gold coin, GET LAMP has gone to thousands of homes and shared versions of the films have gone to tens of thousands more. This collection of interviews provides many more hours of context to the clips used in the film. In the process of editing, thousands of clips were generated from any given interview, so an hour of footage might yield 30-45 minutes of potentially usable footage of the subject answering questions. For the GET LAMP Interviews Collection, these sets of clips have been placed together and the resulting sets of answers presented for viewers interested in long-form discussion of the issues of text adventures. Unlike the film, which is spoiler free, spoilers of adventure games are practically guaranteed in every set of clips, so be aware. Like the film, these interviews are licensed Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike and may be used freely for study, or encapsulated in later projects. A huge thanks to all the subjects for providing time and knowledge for the documentary.

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The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Andrew Plotkin is considered by many within the community as the best example of a modern interactive fiction writer - there's little question that had he been born a decade earlier, he would stand just as tall as anything made professionally. In his role as programmer, he's created standards and programs that advanced the whole environment of writing interactive fiction. In his work as a creator, he's written some of the finest works in the canon: Spider and Web, Shade, Hunter in Darkness. So...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Chris Orcutt is my oldest friend, and that just recently put us at the 30 year mark. For GET LAMP, while looking around for people to interview who were professional writers who might have tried a hand at interactive fiction (for example, Robert Pinsky), Chris came to mind, and I interviewed him over at his office towards the end of shooting. During the BBS documentary, I was concerned about having "friends" in the movie, and ironically, this caused a dearth of people who I personally...
( 1 reviews )
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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As soon as I'd heard of Mary Ann Buckles' story, I wanted to interview her, but it turned out to be a lot harder than I'd expected. She was featured in an article by Michael Erard in the New York Times in 2004, talking about how her pioneering work in game studies, a classic dissertation, had not been of interest to her in her life since academia, and she'd never looked back. In fact, she'd thrown out all her work years ago. After a bit of detective work, I tracked her down and asked her to be...
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The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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David Welbourn is my favorite interview I conducted for GET LAMP next to Mike Dornbrook's. Living outside of Toronto, he has spent decades playing interactive fiction, and kept extensive notes, which he was kind enough to let me film for a while. His thoughts on the subject of interactive fiction are exquisite, and his unique voice and character really brought a lot of amazement to the audiences I've shown the film to - this medium has meaning and weight and depth. Weary of poor construction in...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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John Romero is probably best known as the co-founder of iD Software and co-creator of Doom and Quake (and Commander Keen). But his game experience extends back to the era of the Apple II and before. While reveling in the golden age of video games, his friend told him that there were games for free at the local college, and there they discovered the family of games now considered classics: Hunt the Wumpus, "Poison Cookie" and a game which turned out to be Adventure. He was inspired...
Topics: GET LAMP, John Romero
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Scott Adams is considered one of the giants of adventure games, especially text-based adventures (The Scott Adams Grand Adventures (SAGA) series is especially cited). He is the founder of Adventure International, which sold software for a variety of platforms, mostly involving entertainment. This company grew wildly through the early 1980s but eventually went bankrupt in the inevitable industry shake-out, but should be considered one of the top "old-school" microcomputer software...
Topics: GET LAMP, Scott Adams, Adventure International, Text Adventures
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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As part of the production of GET LAMP, Jason Scott arranged a day of filming in the Bedquilt section of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, which had been the inspiration for the computer game Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods. Negotiations took roughly one year and involved both the CRF (Cave Research Foundation), a non-profit organization associated with cave exportation, and the National Park Service (NPS), which oversees the administration of care of the Mammoth Cave park. Requirements to film...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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A quick rush out the door at 9am, and I was on my way to Brunswick, Maine, to interview Chuck Benton, creator of the infamous adult text adventure game, "Softporn Adventure". I got there at 11:55, just a few hairs short of the appointed time. His company (which he founded) had recently moved to new digs in Brunswick, inside a renovated factory, and he had a great corner office overlooking a loud, thundery dam (which I took a picture of, both from my car and from his window). Lighting...
Topics: Chuck Benton, Softporn, GET LAMP, Text Adventure
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Interview with Warren Robinett for the GET LAMP documentary, conducted in San Jose on November 15, 2007. After multiple attempts to schedule an interview with Robinett, who travels frequently for his work, an opportunity came to interview him in California. Conducted at the home of Christian Wirth, Robinett answered a number of questions related to the creation of Adventure, an Atari 2600 game inspired by Crowther and Woods' Adventure. In creating the game, Robinett pioneered a number of...
Topics: GET LAMP, Warren Robinett, Easter Egg, Atari, Adventure
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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Bob Supnik represents a kind of interview I take great pride in: "Obscure, but critical". Even within text adventure circles, his name is not as well known as that of Don Woods, Willie Crowther, Scott Adams, or others. Yet Supnik holds an important place in the history of text adventures - while employed at DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), he found the engineers enthralled with Adventure, but wanted to be able to play the game on something other than a mainframe, which had all...
Topics: GET LAMP, Bob Supnik, Zork, Adventure, ADVENT
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott Sadofsky
movies
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It can be very harrowing to do interviews with one of the people responsible for the very thing your documentary is about, but in this case, it was a joy and a delight. Don Woods took the original ADVENT program by Will Crowther, added a bunch of features, puzzles, descriptions and other work, and then released it to the world, helping to spawn its continued 30 year success as a game and recreation for generations of computer users. While Will Crowther also had gaming elements in the program,...
Topics: GET Lamp, Don Woods
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Stephen Granade is one of the rare writers who was paid, for some amount of time, to write about Interactive Fiction regularly. While employed by about.com, he maintained a section on the subject, including links and essays. With the closure/ending of his time with about.com, he still had the rights to his works and used this as the foundation for a new site, Brass Lantern, which reviews and analyzes interactive fiction. Granade is also the current maintainer/organizer of The Annual IF...
Topics: GET LAMP, Stephen Granade, Interview, IFcomp, Brass Lantern, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Howard Sherman could best be described as a polarizing figure in the Interactive Fiction community at the time I was doing filming for GET LAMP - in researching possible interview subjects, I would see his name in old newsgroup postings and mentioned by other interviewees, and it was never a neutral reaction. Having spent some time going over his writings and output, I could see why - he's an intense salesman in a community that is not big on intense salesmen. But what I also saw was that he...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Adam Cadre is kind of a legend in the IF community - coming in very quickly with a number of classic pieces that were unusual and moving, including the much-lauded Photopia. He was working on a project on a retreat and we were able to do an interview in the hallway, in between work sessions, and that's why on this particular set of clips you can hear a frequent "ding" from the elevator nearby. Editing of clips and music beds helped obscure this audio glitch in the final work. Adam's...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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During the production of GET LAMP, I began to see if there was a potential link between text adventures/interactive fiction and MUDs. To do this, I reached out to a couple legends in the MUD historical timeline, including the creator of TinyMUD, the creator of Legends of Future Past, and Richard Bartle, who created MUD. (Also known as MUD1). When I was in London on a speaking engagement in 2006, he kindly agreed to travel to my hotel and get interviewed there. While I ended up not drawing a...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott Sadofsky
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David Shaw is an alumnus of MIT who was attending around the same time as some of the students who would work on Zork and later Infocom. We were introduced at a Boston gaming event and I thought it would be informative to speak to someone present at the history of Infocom/Zork who was not a direct player - I was right. David talks about how he found out about the games, about the character of Steve Meretzky as college student, and about what he thought the various products Infocom came out with...
Topics: GET LAMP, David Shaw
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Chris Crawford is a top-five interview for me - he was accommodating about having me visit him at his home, and ask him about text adventures and games from decades ago, and he really came through. He's a legend in circles for his strong presentation and pundit style, but unlike a lot of pundits, he's made a whole range of games and programs that challenged what these machines could do. He delivered a lot of amazing lines and statements that show up a large amount of times in GET LAMP and the...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Stu Galley is an Infocom author (The Witness, Seastalker, and Moonmist) who was also on the board of Infocom at its founding, and stayed at the company through to its "move" to California. He's one of my favorite interviews, and always had a kind word for me as I worked on the movie through the years. In this interview, his perspectives on Infocom both within the board as well as a writer were really great, and he shows up in a lot of places throughout GET LAMP.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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Lance Micklus was one of my favorite experiences of all the interviews and production run of GET LAMP. As the founder of Lance Micklus, Inc., he was right there at the start of the computer game revolution, one of the small mom-and-pop software houses that put out games for computers, in his case mostly the TRS-80. His company had employees, put out a number of products that were advertised in magazines of the time, and he even did work with Scott Adams and Adventure International. The main...
Topics: GET LAMP, Lance Micklus, Lance Micklus Associates, Text Adventure, TRS-80
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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UNUSED IN THE DOCUMENTARY. Well, technically, Richard Hewison shows up for a couple simple lines in the movie, but that's really almost token. In fact, he was meant to be my huge link to the entire UK interactive fiction scene. He had worked as a hints writer, been involved in all matter of things with the UK scene, and we discussed them extensively. As it turned out, I didn't use any of this, mostly because I quickly realized I was out of my depth with the subject and wouldn't do a very good...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Created in support of the GET LAMP documentary, this music video of MC Frontalot (Damien Hess) performing "It Is Pitch Dark" was included on the GET LAMP DVDs.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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Several people had suggested I meet up with Mike Gentry - his work, Anchorhead, had itself turned a bunch of heads with its style, emotion, and approach. While one can never really tell what someone is "first" and "second", he seemed a great writer first who happened to use interactive fiction to tell one of his stories, not unlike Adam Cadre with Photopia. So we made an arrangement to meet in Virginia, at his home. You never know how things will turn out for any interview,...
Topics: GET LAMP, Interview, Mike Gentry, Interactive Fiction, Text Adventures
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Nick Montfort was one of the first people I contacted for GET LAMP, because he'd written "Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction", which was a lovely academic work on text adventures and especially Infocom. Over the years, a strong friendship developed and we brought together all sorts of interesting ideas and approaches to how the GET LAMP movie would be filmed and made. Nick has an amazing memory for facts and information, and he would often correct or remind me...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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Mike Roberts is the creator of TADS (Text Adventure Development System), one of the most popular game development systems. As one of the creators of commercial text adventure products in the 1990s, his perspective was invaluable for understanding the waning context of these games at that time. TADS continues to be developed and is considered a nearest competitor to the Inform system.
Topics: GET LAMP, Mike Roberts, Text Adventures, TADS
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Austin! One of my favorites! Blind since birth, Austin was interviewed at his home and provided me with all sorts of amazing stories and outlook about the magic of Interactive Fiction to those born without sight. He was very accommodating to my bumbling around his house and we discussed a lengthy amount of subjects both from a blind perspective and as someone who saw the true hallucinatory aspects of IF world-building and experiencing. Since this interview, Austin has gotten no small amount of...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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Robb Sherwin goes by a number of names and aliases, both in his capacity as IF author and as website curator. He has a deep interest in Interactive Fiction, and has created a collection of modern IF from 1999 onward, moving between Inform and HUGO languages, as well as simulating the Magnetic Scrolls style of half-graphic half-text IF. He has also given a presentation on IF with Paul O'Brian and is a talented writer in general. Sherwin's self-written biography, from a 2006 presentation he gave...
Topics: GET LAMP, Get Lamp Interview
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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I interviewed Amy Briggs at her family home after a cancellation due to illness. We ended up conducting it in a garage at the back of the home, since kids and other residents of the home were going to guarantee a lot of background noise. Amy was delightful, with many excellent stories and answers to questions around her time at Infocom. Especially informative are her discussions of the creation of Plundered Hearts, the layout of the later Infocom offices, and her strong and insightful opinions...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Nick Montfort was one of the first people I contacted for GET LAMP, because he'd written "Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction", which was a lovely academic work on text adventures and especially Infocom. Over the years, a strong friendship developed and we brought together all sorts of interesting ideas and approaches to how the GET LAMP movie would be filmed and made. Nick has an amazing memory for facts and information, and he would often correct or remind me...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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Dan Horn has a rather unique perspective on the early days of the text adventure companies. He was working for Adventure International, Scott Adams' company, and then decided to switch over to Infocom and stay there. As a result, he had great stories of the Adventure International company as a store chain and catalog business, and then the growth and issues of Infocom, up to the absorbing by Activision. He was wonderfully clear and open on the history and remembered a bunch.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Ron Martinez was one of the most varied and thoughtful of all the interviewees for GET LAMP; years later, I keep finding things he did in the past, which he didn't jump to take credit for in the interview, and which shift in and out of his many biographies available on the internet. In the context of the movie, I was asking him questions around TRANS Fiction Systems, his interactive fiction company/development house and his work with Simon and Schuster - but spend any time looking him up, and...
Topics: GET LAMP, Get Lamp Interview
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Lucian P. Smith (LP Smith in much of his credits) is one of the modern IF community's "Jack of All Trades" related to his work on contests, writing, testing, and organizing. While his name isn't in as many places or the first immediate item in a listing of many areas of interactive fiction, his knowledge and persistence through the years made him a great interviewee. He was also really gracious and friendly, and one of the lighter interviews done in general. Sadly, a failure to press...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Rob is a perfect example of the benefits of not going just for "names" in a documentary about a wide-ranging subject - nothing on his resume says he was a big text adventure game player or person who was at the beginning of Zork. But there he was, a kid who had gotten into the MIT lab and seen early Zork being played and the effect it was having on the students and computer lab users. He was articulate and provided a wonderful dash of emotion into the descriptions which I used...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Jon Palace was what would best be described as a Game Producer at Infocom. I was pointed to him by Steve Meretzky, who stressed that Jon was the difference between success and failure for many Infocom games, and that the documentary had to have him in there, even if his name wasn't on any of the boxes. I interviewed him in Topsfield, MA, and we covered all manner of Infocom and interactive fiction subjects. His trajectory was odd - he'd worked as a book editor, and then wanted to get away from...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Dave "Hollywood" Anderson visited the east coast during a wedding, and he and his friends who had come from California with him decided to stay. He never left, and lives there to the present day. At Infocom, he was both a lead playtester, as well as the creator of the game Hollywood Hijynx. We did a relatively short interview (and he wore a loud shirt for it in honor of his time at Infocom) but a lot of it ended up in the film. Great stuff.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Nick Montfort, prominent in GET LAMP itself, was also a big advisor behind the scenes of the whole film (any re-issues are going to credit him for it). He gave me advice on subjects, listened to the raw interviews and asked about themes, and in some cases, was able to get me in touch with people I'd really have had no hope of reaching. One of these was Robert Pinsky, poet laureate of the US, who had worked on a game called "Mindwheel" in the 1980s, and who was Nick's professor at BU...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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When recording dozens of interviews for a documentary, a few are going to have notably less footage than the others, for no major reason other than time constraints and subject matter. While Mike Sousa is very scant in the GET LAMP movie and bonus features, he gave an excellent interview, the clips from which are finally available here. Mike Sousa's most notable feature to me that caused me to seek him out was his method of collaborating with other authors for most of his work; he'd worked with...
Topics: GET LAMP, Mike Sousa, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction, Interviews
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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One of the more common questions and statements made when I was discussing the production of GET LAMP was what role MUDs would play in the final work. MUDs, or Multi-User-Dimensions, or Multi-User-Dungeons (or Multi-Undergraduate Destroyers) were compelling, text-based worlds that took the world by storm starting in the 1970s and then attracting a mass of new adherents in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the introduction of many college students to the internet. Now, as it turns out, while...
Topics: GET LAMP, Jim Aspnes, TinyMUD, Interview, Text Adventures, Interactive Fiction
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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In 2006 I was asked to speak about various subjects at the University of Advancing technology, a game design and computer programming school in Tempe, Arizona. At the time, I'd been looking for an excuse to get to Arizona to film an interview with Paul Panks, an interactive fiction writer known for his errant behavior and strange projects. Flown in for a few days during a week of presentations and panels, I tried to arrange our interview, but Panks proved elusive and ultimately the interview...
Topics: GET LAMP, Get Lamp Interview
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
movies
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A cancelled interview in Chicago caused me to call Peter Nepstad, who was able to move time around to have me come over with almost no notice. (His son is in the next room playing in the kitchen.) As the creator of the IF Game 1892, he had a unique perspective as his commercial IF game was being sold in a number of museum shops and was designed to be both a game and an educational tool. He appears multiple times in the film, often talking about the process of reaching an audience and as a...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Chris Forman is an incredible collector of adventure games - he has, if not every commercially released game, more than anyone seeking great shots and real insight into the variety of them could want. Originally he was going to just have me take some shots of his boxes, but I got the idea to interview him, so with no preparation, he graciously sat down and discussed both his favorite games, as well as what the process of collecting involves.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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I interviewed Adam in the same hotel room in Las Vegas that I interviewed Ian Bogost, all during a classic gaming convention being held at the Riviera casino. He was a big recommendation from Robb Sherwin, who I'd interviewed earlier. As it turned out, every clip of his interview I used in GET LAMP was either negative or world weary, but that's not really the tone of a lot of his answers. Adam is a continual IF writer, and loves the medium dearly, and had continued to add fun new works to the...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Alexandre Owen Muniz (Two Star) did NOT want to be interviewed. He was sure he wasn't interesting, and getting in front of a camera was the last thing that interested him, even to talk about a subject he cared about. I am very appreciative of the fact he did it anyway, on my request, just to ensure the final film would tell the best possible story from the most choices. It's a relatively short interview but the unique aspects of his creating IF to make an exploratory world over being a game...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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An interview with groundbreaking interactive fiction author Aaron Reed, part of a group of interviews conducted one evening at the University of Pennsylvania, at the Kelly Writers House.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Jon Radoff was suggested to me by David Shaw (interviewed as well) as someone worth checking with, because as one of the creator of Legends of Future Past, he had a bunch of first-hand experience creating on the fly interactive fiction. He also lived nearby in the Boston area, and so it was easy enough to interview him for a while. Only a few clips made it into the final GET LAMP movie, but many other subjects he discussed are covered in our chat.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Brendan Desilets was pointed out to me by Nick Montfort, who said he was worth interviewing because of his long life in the public school system, and his work and research in the world of interactive fiction as a teaching tool could not be ignored. And Nick was right! Brendan has done amazing work with it, and while we discussed a bunch of things, his thoughts on educating classes through interactive fiction drive that section of GET LAMP.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Dave West is a long-time caver, and was the leader of the expedition into Bedquilt that opens the GET LAMP film. After he and the rest of the party took me down into the cave for the day, I snagged an interview with him, Roger Brucker and Tom Brucker, to get background about caves and caving and knowing how this game was based on the actual system. He was really kind to do so after a massive day of moving some annoying filmmaker around the bowels of the earth.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Michael Feir was the founder and editor of Audyssey magazine, which is a magazine (now website) dedicated to finding accessibility in games. Blind himself, Michael was up for being interviewed for GET LAMP and even provides a critical show of using a game like Zork with a speech synthesizer. He really drove the sequence in GET LAMP about the blind, making it go from a potential bonus feature on the DVD to a prominent sequence in the final movie.
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Dan Ravipinto was one of the interviews conducted in Philadelphia in a single night, where readings and presentations were made and then I got a chance to interview some of the authors right there. This including Dan Ravipinto, also known as Peccable. The interview is short because I had to do so many in a very short time, with a notably loud party in the other room (especially on these non-modified soundtracks). He'd made two interactive fiction works up to this point, "Tapestry" and...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Dan Shiovitz, also known as "inky", had an enormous amount of helpful insight into the modern interactive fiction scene. What I found most interesting was that he didn't really worship or look up to the "classic" interactive fiction era. He thought it was nice and that they'd done some good work back then, but what interested him was what was being done now. His interview, therefore, is forward thinking, based on the modern era, and was really helpful all over GET LAMP to...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Frank Fridd is an interactive fiction writer in England who has been writing amazing, out of the box works for decades. He does it not for money, or attention, or as some sort of stepping stone - he does it because he loves it. This comes across in the interview, which we conducted in the same hotel room as Richard Hewison and Richard Bartle, while I was in London on a trip. Frank was a warm, friendly man who took the trouble to come down. I didn't use very much of his interview as I ended up...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott Sadofsky
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One of the more interesting methods I've used to attain interviews is to set up a camera at an event and invite random folks to come sit down and talk about the subject. While a lack of preparation and no previous arrangement means the interviews might not be as good as prepared events with known figures, there can often be insights or comments from the participants that would otherwise have never come to light. Such as it was with the PhreakNIC event in Nashville TN, a hacker convention held...
Topics: GET LAMP, Zack Campbell
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
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Before Cow Clicker and before a series of books and speeches on Gamification and appearances on a number of prominent shows, Ian Bogost was The Guy With Nick for me. Working together on a book about the Atari 2600 called Racing the Beam , Ian and Nick were both in Las Vegas at the same time as myself, and Nick was adamant I interview Ian for a few minutes when the opportunity arose. The interview is conducted with Nick sitting on my bed and aiming Ian back at the door of the hotel room. We...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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Jeremy Douglass was one of a number of interactive fiction doctorates I interviewed for GET LAMP. In Jeremy's case, his defense was imminent (or it might have just happened, I don't quite remember) and so this was all a relatively new thing for him. His mind was full of his dissertation's research so he was a great interview just on that level of things. He drew a lot of parallels of writing and games and interactive fiction, and he'd been involved with the whole modern scene for years and...
The GET LAMP Interview Archives
by Jason Scott
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UNUSED IN THE DOCUMENTARY. Keith Nemitz, once employed by On-Line Systems (Sierra On-Line) and a talented game-maker and developer, has gone on to be an independent developer in the years hence. He contacted me about being interviewed and I stopped by one afternoon and interviewed him. Sadly, due to a technical error, his interview footage was truncated, something I didn't realize until much later, meaning many answers were lost. Here's what remained of the interview, none of which I ended up...
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Paul O'Brian was interviewed as part of a Colorado trip, and arranged by Robb Sherwin. As someone who had entered multiple interactive fiction contests, some of which he handily won, Paul was a great choice. His thoughts on the medium, the contests, and general thoughts on writing were used liberally in the final documentary. The interview took place on the first floor of the building he was working at, which had an interesting computer lab and which lends an interesting background to the shot.
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Debee was kind enough to let me hijack her time and interview her during a Vintage Computing festival - the backdrop, uncredited, is the Computer History Museum. (Once a building owned by SGI). We discussed her blindness and experience with text adventures, and what she liked and didn't like about the medium. Accompanying her was her guide dog Boston, who got a cameo in the movie.
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Dennis Jerz wrote the most comprehensive overview of the Colossal Cave/Bedquilt System and its relation to the game Adventure, which is what inspired me to research the possibility of going myself. (This actually happened and the footage from that trip is elsewhere in this collection.) As a teacher at Seton Hill, he utilizes interactive fiction as a classroom tool and as a project plan. We interviewed in the lobby of Seton Hill, which happens to have a fireplace in the background - as a result...
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Stuart Moulthrop is one of the interviews conducted on a single night in Philadelphia. Invited by Nick Montfort to attend this event, I got a chance to interview a handful of folks in the speaking room while a post-event party raged on in the next room. I didn't use a ton of footage from this night, but I did use some, including a statement from Mr. Moulthrop. He's considered a major Hypertext pioneer, who has done all sorts of work in that field, and only recently (at the time of the...
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UNUSED IN THE DOCUMENTARY. While still learning the camera (a Panasonic HVX-200), I interviewed Jonathan Meyers in Florida, a teacher who used Interactive Fiction as a classroom tool. As a result, I did not record with the boom mic, just the on-camera mic, and the sound was unusable. You can make out what he's talking about in this collection, but no footage appeared in the film. I got better with the camera. Also, I was still learning how the camera worked with regards to video situations, so...
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by Jason Scott
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Ryan Russell and I had seen each other at a ton of DEFCON hacking conferences, and we talked about interviewing him for GET LAMP for quite a while. As it was, we finally found ourselves in the same place one year and I interviewed him for a while about his time as a playtester for Synapse software, and other related work. And then I lost the footage, due to a technical error. I let Ryan know about it, and he was happy to shoot it all again, because now he got a second bite to be more literate...
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Dave Cornelson is a rock in the IF community, having run events, helped publish needed books and documentation, and is the creator of Textfyre, a next-generation IF system meant to bring the medium to whole new audiences. For his interview, conducted just after his kids' bedtime, we covered a whole range of the modern IF scene at the time, and a good amount made it into the film.
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Monte Schulz was a playtester in his early teens for Infocom, providing feedback primarily for Steve Meretzky's games (although he worked with others as well). His job was to get an early beta of an Infocom game, solve it, as well as enthusiastically go after strange behavior or verify that things would not act as expecting. The names of most playtesters are not easy to find (although I did at one point have a small list of them who worked for Infocom) and Steve suggested Monte would be a great...